UK unveils Presidency Programme to drive global climate ambition at COP26

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Science Museum for Launch of the UK hosting of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). Picture by Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street

The UK government has unveiled its programme of Presidency events for the two-week COP26 Summit, which is taking place in Glasgow from 31 October – 12 November.

The programme kicks off with a World Leaders’ Summit (1-2 November), hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for which more than 120 leaders have already confirmed their attendance. They are encouraged to set out ambitious actions to reduce emissions – including net zero and on coal, cars, and trees, scale-up action to adapt to the impacts of climate change and mobilise finance, and to collectively signal their commitment to keeping alive the crucial Paris Agreement aim of limiting global temperature rises to well below 2C, and as close as possible to 1.5C.

Running alongside the formal negotiations, the two-week programme of Presidency events will put a spotlight on how all parts of society and the global economy drives ambitious climate action.

Events fall across key themed days including finance, adapting to the impacts of climate change, energy transition, nature and land-use, gender, and youth. Chancellor Rishi Sunak will open the first of the themed days, with an event on how finance is being made available to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement, and UK government ministers will attend events throughout the two weeks.

Other events include driving forward conversations on the shift from coal to clean power; responding to the recent IPCC report on Science and Innovation day; and a convening of education and climate change ministers with young people to discuss the importance of education in creating climate positive futures.

On Adaptation, Loss & Damage day, communities on the frontline will share their experiences of the worst effects of climate change. This will be followed by a ministerial discussion on efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, said:

The science is clear that we need urgent, decisive action from around the world if we are to change the course of history for the better. Our Presidency themed days are aimed at ensuring COP26 is not a talking shop or a photo opportunity, but a moment for governments and all of society to move forward with practical solutions touching on all aspects of how we inhabit our precious planet.

I am determined to ensure Glasgow is as inclusive as possible, in spite of the challenges presented by COVID-19. I hope through our diverse programme of events, as well as the efforts we have put into getting delegates to Glasgow, all participants will be able to benefit from the very best of climate leadership around the world.

Participants in the summit will also be able to take inspiration from more than 80 Pavilions which will see countries, civil society and international organisations hosting their own curated programmes of events. In line with the UK’s commitment to inclusivity, COP26 is the first COP to offer a shared pavilion, allowing delegations to host events in a pavilion built by the UK.

The UK is today publishing its programme for the UK Pavilion, which will support COP26 Presidency key goals, whilst showcasing UK climate leadership and action. The UK Pavilion will feature a broad range of partners and events, including on gender equality, and supporting indigenous and local forest communities.

British adventurer, Bear Grylls, will participate in an event on the role of young people in climate solutions with nature, whilst climate economy experts Sir Partha Dasgupta and Lord Nicholas Stern will discuss putting the environment at the heart of economic decision-making.

The Presidency Programme can be viewed here.

The UK Pavilion programme can be viewed here.

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